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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 23, 2011 / 19 Adar I, 5771

A harrowing drive through Libya's revolt

By Hannah Allam





A bizarre trip from the Egyptian border to the coastal city of Tobruk for two Western journalists and their Egyptian translator


JewishWorldReview.com |

cOBRUK, Libya — (MCT) A ragtag band of young gunmen, among them defectors still in uniform, burst into cheers late Tuesday when a group of journalists crossed from Egypt into "liberated" eastern Libya.

Thus began a bizarre and harrowing drive from the Egyptian border to the coastal city of Tobruk for two Western journalists and their Egyptian translator. The hour-long journey just after nightfall offered a firsthand glimpse into the forces on both sides competing for Libya's future: longtime opposition activists, powerful tribes, military commanders, disenchanted youths and regime loyalists.

At the border, all official security had melted away; the youths were now keepers of the frontier, armed with assault rifles and handguns. Flashing victory signs and pointing to anti-government graffiti scribbled on the walls, the men were eager to share tales of the repression they suffered under the regime of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who closed off the north African nation from the outside world for much of the past 40 years.

In the past week alone, they said they had learned of air strikes against peaceful demonstrators, of rapes and looting. Their cell phones stored grisly videos of slain protesters and the corpses of alleged African mercenaries hired by Gadhafi to attack the demonstrations. Such bloodshed led many Libyan military officers to resign their posts.

"I consider myself a soldier in the free Libya now," said Attiyah al Saber, 32, a border guard who joined the protesters after his brother-in-law was killed in Gadhafi's brutal effort to crush the uprising.

"We feel pride for all the Arab revolutions. These leaders gave no solutions to the people in 20, 30, 40 years. This was overdue," al Saber said.

Only moments later, however, a communications mix-up, due to the lack of phone or Internet service, left the American journalists in the back of a car belonging to pro-Gadhafi youths with a rifle in the front seat. The men had mingled with the protesters at the border and promised to shepherd the journalists to safety, even though they soon made clear their disdain for the revolt and their suspicions about foreign satellite television broadcasts.


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"The colonel just spoke, and the people are happy. See?" said Salah Mheishi, 17, pointing to truckloads of youth chanting "G0d! Moammar! Libya!" moments after Gadhafi made a televised speech.

Gunfire rang out.

"Just for celebration," Mheishi said with a grin.

As the car sped down the fog-obscured highway, Mheishi and the driver, his 25-year-old neighbor Suleiman Harim, engaged in a wide-ranging conversation as thumping Libyan music blared from a cassette deck. They spoke of the financial obstacles to marriage, of their tribal pride, of vacations to Egypt and their mandatory military service.

The young men plied their passengers with candy bars, orange juice and bananas, assuring them at all times that they were safe and that Libya wasn't hostile to journalists.

Mheishi showed off cell phone photos of his young nephews, then flipped to an image of a smiling, statesmanlike Gadhafi.

"I support him, and want him to stay," Mheishi said. He blamed the violence on prison escapees or hired thugs and insisted that Gadhafi's forces didn't use live ammunition against protesters.

Harim, the driver, pulled to the side of the road near a cluster of men belonging to a citizens' patrol. Such ad hoc groups have replaced government security forces in eastern Libya.

Mheishi said the men were prominent local figures and ushered them to the car. The youths were silent as one of the men, a teacher who wouldn't give his name, offered a starkly different account of the violence.

The teacher leaned close to the car window and said that the Obama administration, the United Nations and human rights groups must intervene immediately to stop Gadhafi's attacks on the protesters. He described corpses lying on the streets of Tripoli, the capital. Gadhafi, he warned, could even resort to a nuclear strike.

"He's a maniac, and he'll make a catastrophe," the teacher said.

The youths thanked the men and sped off, all the while continuing their praise for Gadhafi. Unlike other Arab countries, the young men said, Libyan soldiers were paid well, and money from the nation's oil wells trickled down to the people — assertions disputed by the thousands protesting Gadhafi's political and economic stranglehold on the country.

"Look, that's Seif's summer house," Mheishi said as the car passed a gated building they said belonged to Gadhafi's son, Seif-al-Islam.

As the car neared the sparkling lights of Tobruk, the youths exhorted the journalists to be fair in covering Libya.

"Show the West the real picture," they both said.

The young men said rushed goodbyes in the lobby of a local hotel, which was abuzz with opposition activists greeting one another with kisses and congratulations.

The activists' outlook on Libya, shaped by decades of underground organizing and prison stints, appears to be the majority opinion in the east: That Gadhafi is a ruthless dictator who must be overthrown. When told that the youths in the car held differing opinions, the veteran activists, who declined to give their names, said the men were probably paid by the regime or affiliated with the intelligence service.

Why then would the pro-Gadhafi youths risk a late-night drive to deliver Western journalists into the heart of the opposition?

"Because in general," one activist said, "we are all kind people."

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© 2011, Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.